Union discovers public sector team is on stand-by to pick up pieces from privatisation disaster


The RMT today demanded full re-nationalisation of the West Coast mainline route as it emerged the government has a public sector team on standby to take over from December 9th in the wake of the Virgin/First Group fiasco.

The public sector team, called the West Coast Main Line Mobilisation Team, had been drawn from the already nationalised East Cost route. The confirmation they are now in place and ready to take over staffing, finance and operations as Virgin and First slug it out in the courts contradicts earlier Department of Transport denials when RMT first blew the whistle on the re-nationalisation plan last week.

With little more than ten weeks to go until the Virgin franchise expires, there is still a mass of work to do on transferring the staffing and operations and RMT is warning that it would be yet another expensive waste of time and money to go through the whole charade again as and when Virgin and First reach a court judgment – a judgment which could demand that the whole franchise be re-tendered from scratch.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Despite the denials only last week it is now clear that the West Coast Main Line Mobilisation Team is in place as the public sector is forced to rescue this privatisation shambles just as it has done on the East Coast.

“This whole wasteful, costly and shambolic farce has to stop now. If the public sector is the only show in town when things collapse into chaos then they should now be allowed to get on with the job on a permanent basis on both the East and West Coast and end this madness.

” It is little wonder that 70% of the public now support RMT’s call for re-nationalisation of the railways in the wake of the West Coast debacle.”

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